One of the things I love most about homeschooling my two kiddos is the flexibility the learning offers! We don’t have to go by anyone else’s schedule. We can take a day off whenever we like, and we can learn whenever we want to. It’s wonderful!
I love to take advantage of this and turn every possible event into a fun new learning lesson for my children. Most kids stop their school lessons during the summer months, but we don’t. We continue with the lessons all year round.
Now don’t get me wrong, they do get a ton of time off from their ‘school’ lessons as well. What I mean is that we do our best to insure that they learn that each life experience is a lesson in itself, that lessons don’t just come from books.
I love summertime for making the learning even more fun for my kiddos. It’s the time of year when they can really tune their educational minds to entrepreneurial endeavors. One of the subjects that most kids in school miss out on is financial education. With summer comes a world of money learning opportunity.
Our children not only get the chance to learn how to make money but how to manage their money so that they can achieve their financial goals and in turn raise their own personal self-esteem. It feels great to buy your goal knowing that you were the one who earned the money to buy it with; a sense of pride-of-ownership.
Make the most of summer by encouraging your child to create a ‘summer goal’; maybe your child would like to buy a new mountain bike to ride to school in the fall, maybe your child wants to buy a new gaming system to enjoy in the winter months. Just make sure that your child chooses something that they are truly passionate about so they’ll stay motivated to see it through.
After your child sets their personal goal it’s time for them to earn some money. Let’s explore some fun ways your child or teen can earn their own money. I’ll use my own children as an example for you. You’ve probably heard of the typical ‘lemonade stand’ so let’s put a twist on this.
My children both had their minds set on some special toys they had seen at a neighboring yard sale. My son, Quinn, was running his own lemonade stand on a very hot day and was having a lot of success but my little girl, Xanthe, had set up a face painting stand and was not making any money at all. You see, my sister had been holding a yard sale and had allowed my kiddos to run their businesses at the same time to take advantage of the yard sale traffic.
It was so hot that every time someone walked up to the yard sale, all my son had to do was simply greet them with his ever so cute little 4-year-old voice with, “Good morning. You want lemonade.” He said it just like that, as a statement, not as a question. Almost every single adult got pulled in by his confident charm and bought lemonade with appreciation for the relief to the hot day.
My daughter however was experiencing the complete opposite. She had planned on painting the faces of the kids while the adults perused the yard sale to help keep them out from underfoot, but….it was so hot that hardly any of the adults had brought their kids along. As you can imagine, my then 6-year-old daughter was very sad to see Quinn making money and she wasn’t making any at all.
The adults were not interested in having their faces painted. After noticing that one of the adults had a tattoo of a rose on her shoulder my daughter came up with a great idea to start offering to paint on shoulder tattoos instead of painting faces. Most of the adults were wearing sleeveless or short-sleeved shirts so this was a wonderful idea. My sister and I got ours done first, then one of the adults seeing what was happening and feeling sorry for my little girl decided to get her arm done too.
Well, this started a huge trend and soon my daughter had a larger line of customers than her brother. At the end of the yard sale she ended up earning more money than Quinn did. Being just 4 years old he didn’t really realize this and so wasn’t too worried. He was just happy that he had made a lot of money himself and could go across the street to the neighbor’s yard sale and buy the special toy he had seen.
The key to helping your child find ways of earning money is to open their eyes to the possible opportunities around them. My son had taken advantage of the hot weather to serve his cold drinks. My daughter had also taken advantage of the hot weather to paint on the bare arms of the adults.
There are lots of fun ways your child can earn money during the summer months, many that allow them to enjoy the outdoors. They can mow lawns, do gardening, and help out with grocery shopping for the elderly in their neighborhood. They can offer car washes, or even put on an outdoor play and picnic asking for an entry fee to entertain the kids in the neighborhood. The possibilities are endless.
The main thing is to show your child how each experience is a life lesson. This is homeschooling with real world experience, the kind of experience that will help them survive financially once they leave your protective nest the way that books never can.
Here’s to your child having a blast this summer while they enjoy earning their own money!
Author Bio: Amanda van der Gulik has been homeschooling her own two children for over 11 years and is the founder of www.TeachingChildrenAboutMoney.com, Visit Amanda’s site today to grab your FREE copy of her eBook, “50 Money Making Ideas for Kids and Teens” or her “The 6 Magical Piggy Banks” cartoon.
Thank you Amanda!